Editor, the Gauntlet,
I was shocked and dismayed to read Greg Clayton's ill-informed letter to Kevin Allen. As a Full Frontal community volunteer for this past year I have enjoyed the exciting, creative, inclusive, challenging and enriching environment of NUTV.
Mr. Clayton quotes the purpose of NUTV as defined by the Students' Union Media Bylaws "to permit students to create television programming of interest to fellow students, to produce a product that is professional and of a consistent high quality and to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas among students."
I disagree with Mr. Clayton's assessment that NUTV is not fulfilling this mandate. If Mr. Clayton reviewed the last six Full Frontal shows aired on cable 78, he would have found stories on politics, sports, music, art, human interest, travel, psychology, student debt, sexuality, health, prohibition, the Stampede, the Red Mile, social issues, Bill 43, children's literature, halloween and more, as well as several indies including dramas, music videos and documentaries. If these aren't "...of interest to fellow students" and don't "...provide an exchange of ideas amongst students" I am not sure what Mr. Clayton perceives them to be and I cannot identify what is missing from the mix. I also believe that NUTV does indeed "...produce a product that is professional and of a consistent high quality" considering all the stories are created by volunteers who are learning a new medium.
Mr. Clayton also attacks Full Frontal programming as focusing too much on the artistic community, and goes on to say this is "...not one that will drive growth in the coming years."
Once again I disagree with Mr. Clayton. I would like to direct him to read the cover page article in the Review section of the Sat., Oct. 30 Globe and Mail entitled "Drilling for Culture" by Alexandra Gill. This article looks at the importance of culture in Calgary because of our economic boom. Ms. Gill quotes Alberta's Minister of Community Development, Gene Zwodesky as saying "The arts are big business. They breath a lot of oxygen into daily living, and they don't always get the credit they deserve."
Mr. Clayton goes on to include the SU's vision for NUTV as follows: "NUTV is a leader in producing and distributing professional television that reflects student involvement and interest. NUTV strives to engage students at the University of Calgary through insightful, well-developed programming and a broad spectrum of volunteer experiences and opportunities. NUTV is regarded as a standard of excellence among student-run television stations in terms of community profile, programming selection and technical production." I am happy to inform Mr. Clayton that NUTV has already a chieved this vision.
One of Mr. Clayton's "concrete suggestions" is that "coverage of Dino's Athletics should become an integral part of NUTV and should be shown on Closed Circuit.
Will this "drive growth in the coming years" and be "of interest to large numbers of students"?
It is my understanding that NUTV is already negotiating with Shaw Cable 10 to broadcast some of its stories which will "increase visibility within the community."
Mr. Clayton should be aware that NUTV does use "professional quality equipment". The Sony cameras are broadcast quality and the Avid editing equipment is a standard in the industry.
It is my understanding that NUTV offers a program unique in Canada. Former NUTV volunteers have continued in the film and video industry with great success. NUTV enriches a student's educational experience by providing them with an opportunity to explore the medium of television whether they are in communications, psychology, computer science, history, engineering or fine arts. It is open to all students to participate and this inclusivity is one of its strong points. The SU should support and cherish what they have, and encourage NUTV to grow, expand in new directions, build on its already numerous strengths and revolutionize TV.